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Bizarre Facebook request leads to wife's dead body in Tacoma

Tony Barrett and his wife Sara Barrett are shown in this image provided by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office. (AP Photo/Pierce County Sheriff's Office)

The Pierce County man accused of killing his estranged wife and then calling a TV station to report it, will be booked into jail to face a murder charge.

Sheriff's detective Ed Troyer told KIRO Radio's Ron and Don Show Tony Barrett, 42, and his wife were estranged and had a history of violence. Multiple protection orders had been issued over the years. He said the couple were married about 26 years and have three sons.

"So, they've lost their mom and now they're going to lose their dad by virtue of going to prison for probably the majority of the rest of his life," said Troyer.

Investigators believe Sara Barrett, 42, was kidnapped from her workplace in DuPont Wednesday. Her car was found there with blood stains inside. "We believe that he took her by force," said Troyer. He said Tony Barrett called KOMO TV Wednesday night to report that he'd killed his wife and asked the news station to post that information on its Facebook page. The TV station called police.

The assignment desk asked if there was someone they could notify, and the caller said, "No, I'm not going to be here much longer." The TV station reported that the caller said... "It was supposed to be 'til death do us part, but she wouldn't."

Troyer said a security guard at the Tacoma U-W campus spotted Barrett's truck at about 3 a.m. Thursday and he called police, leading to a high speed chase over the Narrows Bridge that ended when officers laid down spike strips. Police say Barrett attacked officers with a crowbar and was taken into custody with the help of a police dog.

Then, the search began for Sara Barrett.

"We believed some harm had come to her. We were just hoping that we'd find her alive and through our search and everything we did throughout the night, that's what our main goal was but once we found her in the motel room, she was deceased," said Troyer. Sara Barrett's body was found in a Tacoma motel room Thursday morning.

Court records show Barrett had attacked his wife in 2007, holding a pillow over her face until she nearly suffocated, the TV station reported.

The couple's grown son broke down the bedroom door and stopped the attack. Barrett pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and served a day in jail and two years under supervision by the Department of Corrections.

He was ordered not to have any hostile contact with Sara Barrett for five years. That order expired on Feb. 25.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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About the Author


Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic.

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